Ayele d’Almeida is a Political Science and Leadership double-major from Bloomington, Minnesota. Her work at Common Ground, the University of Richmond’s social justice initiative informed her decision to pursue the Race & Racism Project as a summer fellow. She hopes that through her fellowship and continued connection with the project, she will learn more about the University of Richmond. Ayele believes that the Race & Racism Project will also help later in life – as the project forces her to question institutions she may benefits from. She hoped to focus her research on black faculty and the presence of black students in white-dominated clubs and spaces.
When Irina Rogova, the Race & Racism Project archivist first presented the list of potential site visits to our group, every site seemed normal except for one — “The Monument to Stonewall Jackson’s Arm.” By normal, I mean that all of the other sites did not memorialize individuals but rather told a story. I had joked to myself saying “I wonder if it’ll be sticking up out of the dirt.” I am not sure what it was that initially drew me to visit the Monument to Stonewall Jackson’s Arm at Ellwood Manor. Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson was an America Confederate general during the America Civil War. Ellwood Manor served as a field hospital after the Battle of Chancellorsville. Perhaps it was the mere disbelief that Jackson’s arm was buried separately from his body. It may have even been the fact that his arm was memorialized at all. Regardless of whatever it was, I set out to find out what the fervor was about on June 16th with Mysia Perry, another summer research fellow and Dr. Maurantonio, the Race & Racism Project Coordinator.
Kristi Mukk is a rising senior from Mililani, Hawaii. She is majoring in Rhetoric and Communications and minoring in English. She is a dancer and communications director for Ngoma African Dance Company. This is her first time working for the Race & Racism Project as a Summer Fellow, and she is excited to continue her work in the course Digital Memory & the Archive in Fall 2018.
I had never heard of Agecroft Hall before visiting even though it is just a short 10 minute drive from the University of Richmond. Agecroft Hall is an estate that includes a Tudor manor house and gardens overlooking the James River. The manor house was originally located in Manchester, England and was built in the late fifteenth century, but it fell into disrepair in the 20th century. It was bought at auction by entrepreneur Thomas C. Williams, Jr. Williams, who made his fortune in tobacco, banking, and real estate development. He decided to dismantle the manor house and ship it across the Atlantic to be reconstructed in the Windsor Farms neighborhood of Richmond and was completed in 1928. After Williams’ death in the following year after the completion of reconstruction, Agecroft Hall became a house museum as he had instructed in his will. Furthermore, as Williams was a University of Richmond trustee, the Williams’ family donated $25,000 to the University of Richmond in 1890 after his death, and the law school was later named the T.C. William School of Law.
Jacob Roberson is a rising senior on the varsity football team from Richmond, VA double majoring in psychology and sociology. He is a co-vice president of UR Mentoring Network, he is a part of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, and during the 2017-2018 academic year he was an appointed student representative of the Presidential Advisory Committee for Sexual Violence Prevention and Response. Additionally, he has been inducted into numerous honor societies including Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, Alpha Kappa Delta, and Psi Chi. He joined the Race & Racism Project in the summer of 2018 as a part of Team Oral History and hopes to remain an active contributor and collaborator into and through the 2018-2019 school year.
This was one of the first quotes I saw as I made my initial walk through the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, looking for a starting point. It caught my eye and teased my mind because I understood the sentiment, but I wasn’t convinced. The short yet encouraging and motivating message led me to question, “Okay, but how do you win?” How do you win freedom that you didn’t know was lost? How do you win when your opponent has a 400-year (and counting) head start? How do you win when your opponent makes all the rules, and makes new ones as you go to make sure you stay behind? How do you win when you didn’t even sign up to play in the first place? How do you win when even when someone on your team starts to make positive progress, their legs are cut from underneath of them? How did you win an arms race when it’s only “legal” for the other team to be armed? How did you win when a grossly disproportionate amount of your squad is incarcerated? You get my drift…